Michael T. Nygard


VP Customer Solutions at Cognitect, author of “Release It!”


Michael Nygard is the Vice President of Customer Solutions at Cognitect. Mike is the author of Release It!, and a contributor to Beautiful Architecture. Mike focuses on highly-available and scalable commerce systems but can often be found coding, writing, speaking, or thinking about how the Universe works.

Mike’s most recent projects at Cognitect include designing an architecture for an online P2P lending platform, advising one of the world’s largest financial services firms on their overall software direction, and designing a software defined data center for another financial services firm.

Mike’s background includes re-engineering and operating some of the most prominent – and busiest – web properties in the world, including Best Buy, American Airlines and Hyatt. Mike also architected the software used to process 60% of all school photos in the US. Mike wrote the original control software for the infrared astronomy instruments at the Keck Telescope in Hawaii and programmed ground-based GPS systems for the USAF.


Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software

Beautiful Architecture: Leading Thinkers Reveal the Hidden Beauty in Software Design

97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts

Recent Articles

Wide Awake Developers

Cognitect Blog

Bad Layers and Microservices

Recent Interviews

Software Engineering Radio Episode 257: Michael Nygard on Clojure in Practice

he Agile Revolution Podcast Episode 69: DevOps with Michael Nygard

Channel 9 YOW! 2012: Michael Nygard – Architecture Without an End State, Modern IT, and More


GutHub mtnygard

YOW! 2016 Melbourne

Maneuverable Architecture

What can a rogue fighter pilot from the 1960’s teach us about software architecture? Quite a lot, as it turns out. In 1964, John Boyd introduced ””energy-maneuverability”” theory. It showed that the fastest airplane didn’t always win the dogfight. Rather, the one that could accelerate or decelerate fastest would win.

Software architecture today is about gaining and shedding mass rapidly. One must scale up and scale down, and be able to adapt quickly to changing situations. Sadly, enterprise integration destroys maneuverability more often than it helps.

As architects, we can change the way we integrate systems to produce maneuverability, via some different techniques and patterns. Some of these techniques may appear to contradict past notions of sound architecture. Our industry evolves rapidly, however, and last year’s sound practice might just be drag this year.


Architecture, Agile, Microservices, Maneuverability, Enterprise, Scale